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Cross-disciplinary research on nerve system at Uppsala

3 June 2010

Dementia and chronic pain are two pathological conditions that are on the rise in society, which increases the need for better diagnosis and treatment. Within the framework of the Uppsala Berzelli Center, which has been in existence since 2007, both clinical and basic research in the field has made great forward strides. On June 8 there will be an open seminar on the present state of research and the future.

What is happening on the research front in the fields of pain and Alzheimer’s disease? What commitments are being made by society and companies in these fields in the near future? On June 8, research leaders, ministry representatives, and business people will gather for an open seminar about the two tremendously exciting research fields. Researchers will give a progress report on their work, senior administrative officers Maria Wästfelt and Lotta Liljelund from the ministry of education and research will speak about health-care initiatives, and representatives from AstraZeneca and GE Healthcare will present what the business community can contribute.

Apace with advances in our knowledge of the genetics and molecular processes behind various pain conditions and dementia disorders, new opportunities are opening up for diagnosis and treatment. The encounter with patients at the clinic also often leads to questions for which there has been no technology in place to provide the answer. This is where the Uppsala Berzelii Center comes in. Torsten Gordh, a pain researcher at Uppsala University and chief physician at the Pain Clinic, Uppsala University Hospital, says the center is a fantastic resource.

“Through collaboration between basic researchers and companies we have gained access to entirely new methods involving biomarkers that can be used on biobank materials from well-characterized pain patients. This is something completely new and has led to a great deal of new knowledge that can benefit patients,” he says.

Both Alzheimer’s and pain research at Uppsala University is of top international quality, and University Hospital is clinically prominent.  The areas are also interesting to Uppsala’s life-science companies. At Uppsala Berzelli Center there is now very active collaboration between these parties, firmly anchored in clinical needs and in the University’s advanced competence in chemistry and molecular method development. The goal is to pilot ideas from basic research to commercial products for clinical use.

“With access to patient materials, the robust development of technology, and the expertise of companies, we are uniquely positioned to succeed,” says Fredrik Nikolajeff, director of the Uppsala Berzelii Center.

More about the Uppsala Berzelii Center